India has got a breather with the Constitutional Court of Portugal staying the
order of its Supreme Court on violation of extradition agreement of underworld
don Abu Salem by New Delhi by slapping new charges invoking death penalty.
CBI sources said that the Constitutional Court, while admitting India's plea,
stayed the order of the Supreme Court of Portugal. India in its plea had also
mentioned the recent order of Supreme Court of India whereby it had stayed
trial against Salem with regard to additional charges levelled against the
India had given an executive assurance to Portugal that it would not slap any
charges which invoke death penalty to Salem and would not keep him behind bars
for more than 25 years.
Delhi and Mumbai Police, however, had slapped charges which invoke death
penalty against him leaving the government and the CBI red-faced. Later police
wanted to withdraw the charges but the courts did not approve of it that led to
long-standing legal battle which ended in Supreme Court in September 2010 that
rejected the underworld don's plea.
Salem had filed a petition in the high court in Lisbon alleging violation of
Rule of Speciality after which a judgement was pronounced on September 19, last
year, saying there had been breach of the Indian undertaking given to the
The CBI, through the Indian Mission in Lisbon, had countered the plea by
claiming that the issue of 'violation of Rule of Speciality' has been examined
at length by the Supreme Court of India on similar petitions filed by Salem in
The Supreme Court of India had in its order dated September 10, 2010 held that
there has been no violation of Rule of Speciality after examining the issues
pertaining to it with reference to and in comparison with extradition laws of
the UK, the US and Portugal.
However, that had not enthused the Supreme Court of Portugal which had rejected
a petition filed by the Indian Embassy and upheld the order of the lower court
saying, "The decision of Court of Appeal, Lisbon vide which it had held that
there was a breach of Rule of Speciality in the matter of extradition of Abu
India had moved to the Constitutional Court of Lisbon and appealed again the
order besides annexing the order of February 17 of Supreme Court of justices P
Sathasivam and J Chelameswar whereby stay on trial for all fresh cases, which
invoked a death penalty or jail for 25 years, was ordered.
Salem, the prime accused along with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in 1993
Mumbai serial blasts, and his girl friend Monica Bedi were extradited to India
on November 11, 2005, after a marathon legal process in Portugal lasting 3
The extradition of Salem, who was also wanted in various cases including the
murder of noted film producer Gulshan Kumar, came after an assurance by Indian
government to Portugal that he would not be given death penalty, a key
requirement in extradition proceedings in Europe.
(source: The Times of India)